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Alberta and Saskatchewan reject emission caps

The Globe and Mail reports that, “federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice said Ottawa is reviewing its (carbon emissions) policy to ensure its conforms with whatever climate change legislation is passed in Washington…Mr. Prentice said that while the final outcome of U.S. climate change debate remains uncertain, Ottawa must ensure its regulations and enforcement mechanism are ‘comparable’ to the U.S. to avoid ‘trade-related consequences.'”

“A bill introduced in the House of Representatives last week would establish U.S. national emission caps and a trading system for emission allowances. It would also impose border duties on importers whose home governments are deemed to be lax in the climate change fight.”

But Alberta and Saskatchewan are saying that “any federal climate change policy needs to be consistent with their own approaches to greenhouse gas regulations, which set industrial emission standards based on levels of production rather than strict caps.”

“Alberta and Saskatchewan are the strongest proponents of intensity-based rules, which would allow their oil and gas sectors to grow but require companies to reduce emissions per barrel of oil or 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas produced. Both provinces also rely heavily on coal-fired electricity, which is a heavy emitter of carbon dioxide. Alberta, with 11 per cent of Canada’s population, produced one-third of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2006; Saskatchewan, with 3 per cent of the population, produced 10 per cent.”

Alberta’s Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations Ron Stevens “reiterated Alberta’s request to be at the table for climate change talks. ‘The oil and gas industry, specifically the oil sands, is key to energy security for Canada and the United States. It’s key to the Canadian economy so we need to be involved.'”

“Saskatchewan Environment Minister Nancy Heppner said yesterday she will be tabling legislation next month that will set emissions regulations for industry. She said the Saskatchewan plan will be consistent with the ones adopted by Alberta and proposed by Ottawa, meaning it will include intensity regulations.”

The full article is at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090410.RCARBON10ART1933/TPStory/Business